In 1985 Todd Lucas moves to L.A. from Omaha. He meets B.J. Fairchild at his new job at BJ Maxx's, where you can buy contemporary fashions at affordable prices. He also meets Gina Marie, the girl next door, or, at least the girl across the yard in the same apartment complex.
It turns out that Todd and B.J. both like R&B music and they form the band Eternity. B.J. writes the jams and Todd writes the lyrics. The trick is, Todd only gets inspired when he is heartbroken. You see, Todd has high moral values and wants to make love to someone he is in love with. B.J. just wants to have sex with as many women as he can. So with each date and night out with women ending not the way that he intended, Todd is left more and more heartbroken. Which every new song containing Todd's heartache Eternity's popularity begins to rise.
B.J. is concerned for Todd's happiness. That is, if Todd is happy then where does that leave Eternity? As Eternity's popularity grows and Todd no longer has his heartbroken with all attention his lyric writing skills might dry up. He may want Todd to be happy but he loves the popularity more. Then there is the inevitable love triangle between Todd, B.J. and Gina Marie. Of course this causes a rift between the lads and the band eventually breaks up. Will they remain apart or can Eternity last forever?
Eternity: The Movie is consistently and often laugh out loud funny. From the homoerotic jokes about the friendship between Todd and B.J. to the lyrics of Todd's songs (i.e., hoping his next girlfriend is a better swimmer than his last, Alana, who fell in a river and was swept away), the jokes keep coming throughout the film. Barret Crake (Todd) and Myko Olivier (B.J.) are spot-on with their delivery of the material. The screenplay by Joey Abi-Loutfi, Eric Staley, and director Ian Thorpe rolls out the humor with ease.
The 80s references are subtle. There is a constant supply of 'Teb' in the background, a reference to a low-cal soda called Tab. And there is even a reference to a brand of jeans that you would only get if you grew up in the 80s. Otherwise, really the only cue that this story takes place in the 80s is the fashion and maybe the two DeLoreans parked out on the roundabout at the guys' mansion. Oh, and wait for the visual joke related to one of Martin Kove's most famous movie roles in the end credits.
Speaking of Martin Kove and his guest role as record producer Barry Goldfield Sr., it is Jon Gries, as his son Barry Goldfield Jr, who really steals any scenes that he is in. Like Martin Kove does late in the film, Eric Roberts makes a brief appearance early on in the film as Mr. Wiener, manager at the fashion store. He is good enough in these small doses. But yeah, credit is due to Gries for an often funny role in the film.
There is a homosexual subtext that runs throughout the film. From Todd and B.J's first bump-in at the fashion store, B Goldfield Jr's first impressions about their friendship and his own wishes, to some jokes later on in the film. Perhaps it is there as a reference to homo-eroticism in a lot of 80s films (Volleyball anyone?). But in Eternity it is there for laughs and not some podium for any statement to be made.
All in all I was quite surprised with Eternity: The Movie. There is a lot of humor in the script. You do not get distracted with trying to spot 80s references throughout the film. Nor does that subtext get preachy and overbearing. It is not the message of the film. In the end Eternity: The Movie is about love, and that popularity and success pale in comparison to being truly loved by someone.
The film will kick off it's launch in NYC today (October 17) at AMC Empire 25. It will open on October 24 in Toronto at Carlton Cinemas and LA's Music Hall 3. Additional Canadian dates include Regina and Saskatoon on November 7 and Montreal on November 21.
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